Dr. Kapil Kapoor
Chairman MHRD Language Expert Committee.
Chancellor Mahatma Gandhi Antararaashtriya
Former Rector, Professor of English &
Concurrent Professor Sanskrit Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Chief Editor, Encyclopedia of Hinduism (IHRF
USA) and of Encyclopedia of Indian Poetics
N. Delhi-1 10092
Instructional Quality Commission
California State Board of Education
I am Professor Kapil Kapoor, former Professor of English and Concurrent Professor of Sanskrit
Studies and former pro-Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi India and
currently Chancellor of a Central university and Chairman of the Language Expert Committee
constituted by the Government of India to develop a Comprehensive Language Policy for the
At JNU, prior to my retirement in 2005, I taught, besides Chomskyan Linguistics and Western
Literary Thinking, for almost three decades, texts of India’s intellectual traditions, including
Panini's Astadhyayi, Bharat's Natyasastra , Bhartrhari's Vakyapadiya and Patanjali’s Yogasutra, to
generations of Post-Graduate students many of whom are now occupying senior academic
positions in Universities across India. I have published books in the field, including Dimensions of
Panini Grammar and several articles besides having edited the 11 Volume Encyclopedia of
As one deep into Sanskrit thought and textual traditions, and of the use of languages including
Sanskrit across India in the time period under discussion, I assert that the proposed change in the
proposition is counter factual. In the edit 2728 of the 'Framework narrative revision’, the
" Sanskrit became the principal literary language throughout India "
is accurate and can be substantiated through, references in wider Indian languages literature,
manuscripts, epigraphy, coinage and the massive body of translations into Indian languages of the
Sanskrit epic literature and knowledge texts and from the histories of modern Indian languages.
Even if a language is accessed for its patronymic texts and thematic and structural models, as
Sanskrit was, and still is, by practically all Indian languages including the oral languages of the
north-east, it is a 'literary' language.
Therefore, changing this proposition to an indefinite proposition will raise many unanswerable
queries as the phrase ‘many regions’ is ambivalent and the contrary evidence also abounds:
", Sanskrit became the principle literary language in many regions of the Indian subcontinent"
would be contrary to historical reality. Sanskrit was in use as a liturgical, judicial, educational and
literary language in practically every part of India, evidentially, from 7 th century BC to 10-1 1 th
century AD when vernacularisation began with Ramanujacarya of modern Tamilnadu giving his
discourses on Advaita in Tamil at Melkote and followed a century or so later by Hemacandracarya
of Pattan (modern Gujarat] writing his celebrated grammar of Prakrit in Prakrit (itself a
modulation of Sanskrit just as Pali was] and was one of the great unifying factors of Indian
civilization, that is perhaps the only one that has endured for almost 5000 years, or at least since
the Rgveda, the proto-Indo-European text. The technical vocabulary of Sanskrit knowledge
domains (see Harvard Oriental Series and the Max Mueller series that barring a few texts from
non-Sanskrit languages chart in fact the knowledge domains].
NEXT - the proposal to replace ‘India’ by South-Asia is ridiculous (though inspired!]. The
word is a Greek formation and essentially means the same as ‘Hindu’, the Iranian phonological
variant of ‘Sindhu’ (as in saptah haftah). 'Of Indus' = 'OfSindhu'. The Chinese name for India is
INTU. And in early years, this country was known as Bharatvarsha and through the Middle Ages as
Hindostan, the name which is still the one used across Asia. There is adetailed description of the
geography of India in the 1 st century AD Visnupurana. There is the Ptolemy’s map of India, roughly
corresponding to the Visnupurana (attached] that gives a corresponding visual of India.
And our word for India is a geographical term - desha. In several texts, the boundaries of India
are described - South of the Himalayas, north of the Indian Ocean, east of the Sulaimaan
mountains of Balochistan west of the hills of Burma. The Mekong countries are not a part.
The term ‘South Asia’ is the coloniser’s coinage. There was no ‘South Asia’ when
Bharatavarsha or Hindostan were common currency. However the concept of brhatabharata,
‘Greater India’ is very old.
Therefore I hope this calculated effort to wipe out an entity is blocked before it makes the
whole exercise a laughing stock. Not that it is going to make any difference.
My best regards,
Chairman, Language Expert Committee
Ptolemy's Roman Map of 'India
[Source: National Digital Library of Poland. 1467. Author - Nicolaus Germanius (after Ptolemy
(Geographia): lst/2nd Century AD). This image (or other media file ) is in the public domain
because its copyright has expired.]
Brief Bio - KAPIL KAPOOR
Currently Chancellor Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University
Former Rector (Pro-Vice-Chancellor) JNU from 1999-2002,
Dean of the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, JNU,
from 1996-1999, Professor of English, Centre for Linguistics and
English, and Concurrent Professor, Centre for Sanskrit Studies,
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Editor-in-Chief, 11 -Volume Encyclopaedia of Hinduism
(sponsored by Parmarth Niketan / India Heritage Research Foundation,
USA) that has recently (January 2012) been published and Chief Editor
of the Sahitya Akademi sponsored Encyclopaedia of Indian Poetics, a
UNESCO project, that is under publication.
Visiting Professor Irish Academy of Cultural Heritages,
University of Ulster, U.K. (2005-2009).
Nominated Member, Advisory Board for India Studies, Trinity College
Nominated Birla Foundation Fellow in 2007 Nominated
Member Governing Body, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (HAS)
Shimla. Nominated Member Indian Council of Philosophical
Research (ICPR). Nominated Satindra Singh. Noor Fellow Punjabi
University Patiala 2011-2013.
Nominated Member, the Monitoring and Planning Committee of
Central University of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath and Member
General Council. Nominated Member of Sanchi University Mentor
Group (SUMG)/General Council of the Sanchi University of Buddhist
and Indie Studies, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh.
Chairman MHRD Committee of Language Experts to develop a
Comprehensive National Language Policy
UGC Emeritus Fellow at JNU 2007-2009. Adviser CBSE, New
Delhi for English since 2000.
He was nominated member of the Academic Council of the
Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad and of
the Executive Councils of Central University of Hyderabad and of
Gurukula Kangri, Haridwar.
His Books: (After 2005)
Dimensions of Panin i Grammar: Indian Grammatical System 2005
Text and Interpretation :The Indian Tradition 2005.
Indian Knowledge Systems (2 Vols.), (edited) 2005.
Rati-Bhakti in India’s Narrative Traditions [Hindi] written as a Birla
Foundation Fellow, 2007 - 2008 has been published in 201 1 apart from
his earlier books including Literary Theory, Indian Conceptual
Framework (1998); Canonical Texts of Literary Criticism (1995),
Language, Literature and Linguistics The Indian Perspective (1994) and
South Asian Love Poetry (1 994).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism RUPA Delhi 2012. International Edition
Mandala Publications USA 2013.
Mutual Regards: Irish-lndian Anthology (with Professors
Welch and Mac Mathuna of the University of Ulster, UK, as co-
editors)is to be published by the end of 2014 and Abhinavagupta
Manuscripts is under publication.
Major Recent Invited Lectures
2007, Keynote Address in the Conference on the ‘Principle of
Sacred’ at the Department of Celtic Studies University of Ulster U.K.
2008, lecture on ‘Democracy and Polity’ in the House of Lords,
From 2005 to 2009, he delivered invited lectures each year in
the Irish Academy of Cultural Heritages, University of Ulster, UK. On
Comparative Aesthetics, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and
Philosophy of Knowledge, Globalisation and Cultures
2011, Keynote Lecture on ‘Alternative Education Paradigm’ in
the International University Conference sponsored by Uberoi
Foundation in Los Angeles, USA.
2013, International Keynote Address in the International
Conference on Vivekananda at the University of South California,
Delivered lectures (stopped counting and listing) by invitation in
several universities in India, including NTs, and published around 90
articles in the areas of Indian and Western philosophy, grammar,
literature and aesthetics and 19 th Century British literature.
in 2003 by MHRD, India, for his contribution to Sanskrit and
in 2010 by Shiksha Sanskriti Utthana Nyasa for contribution
to Indian education.
October 2, 2011 he honored at Maria Louisa UniversityLos
Angeles by the Uberoi Foundation California USA for his contribution
to Linguistics and Indie Civilization Studies.
in 2012 honoured as a distinguished scholar by Kunwar
Narendra Pratap Singh Kalyankari Trust Gorakhpur by Mahant
Adityanath Yogi ji.
Adviser BPS Rural Women’s University Khanpur Kalan,
Haryana 2010 - 2014.
Since 1973, was in JNU where he became Professor of English in
1996 and was designated by the JNU Executive Council as Concurrent
Professor of Sanskrit Studies in 2000, the only Concurrent Professor in
JNU. Guided 42 PhDs and 30 Mphils.
Contact Address and Details:
B-2/332, Ekta Garden, 9-1. P. Extension, Mother
Dairy Marg, Delhi - 110092. Tel. 011-22723406;
Mob. (0) 9810202146 E-mail ID: